Qi, it's physics!

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by ddwk21, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Just from THIS thread:

    You'll find that a growing number of those who practice arts like tai chi, bagua, xingyi etc are starting to agree that 'internal' and 'external' aren't terms that have clear distinction or boundary.
  2. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    And yet here we are, in an thread about the existence of qi in the internal martial arts section.
  3. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    There are still flat earthers out there if you look hard enough.....
  4. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    And i'd debate them into frustration with equal verve.
  5. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I have a very clear understanding of what 'internal' means in relation to what I practise, which is Taiji.

    But since I have never done Xing Yi, and only done a 'taster' session of BaGua at a MAP meet long ago, I have to sort of 'take it on trust' that those two are 'internal' in the way that I perceive Taiji as being 'internal'.

    Unless of course, the traditional classification of 'internal' is based on something completely different. And I have seen alternative explaanations - although none of them were totally convincing.
  6. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Don't be starting with that 'round earth' nonsense! :rolleyes:
  7. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Or "apples" for IMA.

    Ask different people their opinions, you'll get different opinions, it's not limited to old martial arts, the same thing happens with MMA, boxing, and so forth.

    Or apples, oranges, and pears!
  8. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    Are you trying to tell me that if you got 10 people together, they'd all give you a different definition of what an apple is? Like, the fruit, right?
  9. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    The reason for this my friend is very simple, the "internal" and "external" concepts are just conceptual tools for beginners (like qi, simple to teach and it forms the conceptual bedrock of what's learned later on). Masters use tools like this to teach, for themselves, such concepts are typically thrown away in the Taoist or Zen Buddhist traditions, just like other material ideas. "No Man, No Ox".

    It's not very wise to label neigong or neijing as "snake oil" by default or being very similar to Flat Earth and so forth, since for the most part what we are talking about is not potions and miracle cures, but a whole compendium of physical exercises that does in fact have an overlap with the history of violence in China but also health cultivation.

    The feelings involved in neigong are not mental, they are physical, not only that, they are easy to show a skeptic in person. You can easily tire the muscles of a skeptic with nei gong exercises. I was a skeptic of nei gong and was convinced on my first day of practice.

    You have to realize, the Chinese are methodical and scientific people as well. They've long since distinguished between what were tall tales of ancient Taoist magic and what was "real" about arts like Nei Gong.

    Millions today still practice these things not out of superstitious belief, but for their obvious physical affects. And, medical research proves those effects do exist (at least for Tai Chi etc). You're free to drop terms like "qi", "external", "internal" at any time. But choosing also to dismiss real exercise of any sort is misguided.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  10. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    This is where you're stuck I think, just on definitions. There are other qualities to these things than their definitions, coming to a "common" one that satisfies every test might be impossible. But don't forget you're still in the realm of discussion, versus practice.

    You never need the definition of an apple to eat one, to know you like it, or to know someone else might benefit from one.

    Ask 10 people, 10 people would give you different opinions on their taste, value, quality.

    Ask them to draw an apple, you would get ten unique renditions. Describe the taste, ten relatively unique, if somewhat similar descriptions.

    Nei gong is kind of like that. You think it's a worthless, false fruit based on the descriptions you've been given.

    But to some it's really just an apple.
  11. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    You must have misunderstood - I wasn't labelling neigong as snake oil, or being similar to Flat Earth.
  12. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    And indeed you can see how something like Sanchin kata is derived from Chinese neigong. Anyone who has done it can tell you it's quite fatiguing and useful for conditioning. Personally it's my favourite kata outside of the wing chun forms.

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siPeiTHkuXc"]Pangai Noon Karate - Vol. I Sanchin pt 3 - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  13. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    Ok, but if you had 10 people who grew apples, and had a vested interest in apples, and they were unable to provide you with anything resembling a coherent answer as to what an apple was, and would debate and deride other growers of apples for their answers, you'd probably find it difficult to trust anyone's opinion of what an apple was, or what it was used for, with the only saving grace for the apple being the fact you could get one yourself and make your own assumptions without years of dedication and monetary expenditure, unfortunately, such a respite doesn't exist for IMA, it is simply a case of put the years in before you can comment, or shut up about it, as far as i have been told in this thread.
  14. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    You must have missed what I said earlier about opinion and an empty sack of evidence being worth the sack. Can they hit people? Can they throw people? Can they do these things well. Those same bench marks you use for "external" martial arts are the ones your use for "internal" martial arts.

    You'll find the people who try to convince you that their martial art is radically different from everyone else's are usually the ones who don't hold up to pressure testing.
  15. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Right you've got it brother. The solution is to close your eyes and ears to the whole universe of discussion which can be chaotic and distracting without more knowledge, find what you're reasonably sure is a legitimate apple, and take a bite.

    If it's a real apple, now you're got a baseline of understanding. Another person might mention its sweetness and you could agree there is a certain sweetness to many apples (but what about sour apples!??!?)

    If it's not, you should try to find a real one, but at least you can admit "damn, people out there are selling fake apples". There are certainly a lot of wacky people selling false Nei Gong practices, they've ruined it for many non-wacky, perfectly rational and non-superstitious folks who love the exercise which has both martial and non-martial purposes.

    If it's a real apple, chances are you'll understand at least some of what all the hubbub was about. In the case of nei gong my honest opinion (having trained some of that), it's mostly calisthenic exercise. Most reasonable people can tell when they're doing exercises :)

    If it's a false apple, a critical thinker should be able to tell objectively. BUT, that doesn't mean the bite of your false apple is any good indication of what the real apple is like. Someone claiming their Nei Gong makes them invulnerable or immune to disease ( a common, absurd claim) should be viewed cautiously. Exercise can help you grow stronger and prevent disease..but not in that way.

    If we admit there is good and poor instruction out there in these arts, it makes sense there are both real and false apples.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  16. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I haven't seen anyone tell you to 'shut up'. People have simply pointed out that your assumptions about IMA's are based on unreliable information, and have suggested that you would gain a better understanding of the subject if you either (a) listened to people who actually have some experience in the area, or (b) study it for yourself and draw your own conclusions from experience.
  17. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    I guess it goes back to what i said earlier, for the smoke i cannot see the fire, and i guess i've had enough bad experiences with martial arts to avoid seeking what would require effort to find.

    But i do have to agree i am probably letting the irrational poison the rational, but as even the rational elements, or those claiming to represent such, can't seem to explain the concept to in a way that promotes understanding beyond trial or agreement without qualification i guess i will remain on the outside looking in, unable to let my inherent skepticism go.
  18. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    While i can accept that i am putting faith in information i have gathered and conclusions i have come to without practicing an IMA, how can i be expected to listen to people with experience when they themselves admit the field is filled with charlatans and liars.

    This is not to tar people who practice IMA's with the same brush, but i don't really want to invest the time to study something i feel is comparatively lacking use and time poor in it's instruction, given the numerous references i have seen on MAP to how you need at least a decade of instruction before the concept of an IMA even becomes relevant, nor do i want to sit at the feet of people who'd probably wind up in stark disagreement over the concepts they are trying to explain to me if they had to do so in unison.

    Further more, while no one has explicitly said it, at least one person in this thread gave a heavy implication i should shut my mouth and listen to them, which was a rather ironic postition to have, as they seemed to have the least constructive insights after the OP, and potentially myself in the thread.
  19. qazaqwe

    qazaqwe Valued Member

    So, next time someone tells me i can't criticize their martial prowess, i need to throw down the gauntlet and put up my dukes?

    I'm cool with that, but it would get costly given how far i'd need to travel, it's also kind of a bit bullshidoey.
  20. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    I didn't mean you. I meant that the various explanations of the IMA crowd don't mean anything if they can't walk the walk and that they're judged by the same standard as the so called "external" folks. Apply the same standard to anyone regardless of art or lineage. I liked a idea of the rubber guard when I was younger but it doesn't seem to have held up well in the cage when put to the test. For all the talk the technique didn't hold. Explain IMA any way you want but only one question matters at the end of the day: can you do what you say you can do against a resistant opponent?

    If someone can do that and they attribute everything to chi, even though I personally disagree with using r it as an explanation, I will shut up and learn something.

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